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Waiting for Color is a documentary dance film revealing the harsh reality of LGBTQ+ persecution in the Chechen region of Russia. The contents of the film were inspired by testimonials of the arrests, torture, and blackmail that gay Chechens were subjected to throughout 2017. Through the accounts of 33 brave individuals who shared their stories, the film explores the themes of paranoia, trauma and hope.
The film is a direct response to the Chechen Autonomous regional government anti-gay purge in Chechnya that made international news in April 2017 about the abduction, torture and extrajudicial killings of over 100 gay men in the Chechen Republic, a part of the Russian federation. As news spread, activists tried to evacuate survivors and push the local government for accountability, admittance and persecution of those involved in these terrible crimes against humanity. The Russian government has been stalling its investigation, refusing to come forward with anything conclusive even after reports and public testimonials of individuals who had successfully escaped were shared in the press.
Following a screening of Waiting for Color, the film’s producer Kosta Karakashyan will discuss his experiences making the film, the persecution of LGBTQ+ communities throughout the region, and the work that is being done to combat this oppression.